Instead of the silly boob jokes and twangy songs that we grew up knowing Dolly for, Ali thinks that she is the Book Fairy.

Thanks to Dolly’s Imagination Library program where she sends every child a free book every month (if you sign up for it), Ali’s life has been excited and enriched by such thrilling books such as “The Minosaur” (which I reference anytime that Ali starts getting selfish with her toys) and “The Little Engine that Could” (which my brother insists that Dolly Politically-Correct-ified by making the Little Engine a girl, but I think she was a girl when we were kids too. Can anyone help us solve this family argument?)

Ali gets so excited when a new one shows up. She squeals with delight, “Dolly Parton sent you a new book!!!”. (Yes, one day she will start saying “me” instead of “you”, and “my” instead of “your”. It may be JUNIOR HIGH, but it WILL happen).

However, the last two books we have received have been a bit less than subtle. The first one wasn’t so unusual.

“Little Sister, Big Sister”.
Makes sense. They know Ali is a girl, so they would send her a girly book. I’m sure they have the boy version that they send to boys.

I did happen to ask Ashley, who also gets the Dolly books for AJ (who would be in the same age bracket as Ali, and so therefore receiving the same books), if they had received that copy. She looked puzzled. “No, we haven’t gotten that one”.


Dolly knows.

She knows that Ashley is pregnant like a good little Mommy and I’m not.

Dolly’s planning these attacks strategically.

THEN it got worse. Today when I opened the door, we ACTUALLY received “Little Brother, Big Brother”:

You have got to be kidding me.

Gee, Dolly – did the Grandparents put you up to this?

Come to think of it, I bet there’s some sort of Grandparent’s lobbying coalition that put her up to it.

Then again, Dolly probably IS a Grandparent.

I can hear the questions now. “Mommy, where’s MY sister?”. Or, thanks to her pronoun confusion, “Mommy, where’s YOUR sister?” “Mommy, where’s YOUR brother?”

Can’t we please just stick with “The Three Little Pigs” and “Little Red Robin Hood”?

Or, better yet, how about “The Happy Only Child”?

If you’re curious about my current position on having another baby anytime soon, read here.

17 thoughts on “Dolly Parton: The All-Knowing Family Manipulator.

  1. girl you crack me up.. i love it! So witty. I will gladly take that big brother little brother book (i’ll see you tomorrow, fyi at the property party).. anyhoo..
    I’m sensing some internal turmoil over imaginary pressure to have another baby. My psychology studies (umm.. two classes) are leading me to believe you may be perceiving these pressures when no one, in fact, is pressuring you (externally). Therefore, it is my professional opinion that you should get pregnant immediately to relieve said pressure. Alogn with that book you can bring me your check for that session.


  2. So. . . let me get this straight. . .you’re advising (i.e. pressuring) me to get pregnant to relieve the psychological stress of imaginary (non-existent) pressure.

    Therefore, I can clearly conclude that I AM being pressured now, so therefore I DON’T need to get pregnant, because I am NOT imagining things any longer. :)

  3. Something must be up because we get her books also. We haven’t received those yet. James got one yesterday as a matter of fact and it was about firetrucks. Maybe since Dolly didn’t have kids of her own she wants all of her readers to have a lot!

  4. I’m with you, Rach! I NEVER thought I wanted only one child…until I had one!!! We’re so crazy about him that Jeremy and I are in agreement on this one (for the long time being).

  5. The Little Engine was definitely a girl! Didn’t she have long eyelashes and in some books a necklace made out of flowers?

    I definitely understand what you are saying about the 2nd baby thing. We went to a get together the other day and seven(!?!) people out of only about 20 asked me when we were having another!

    One of those same people was visiting us at the hospital when Kariya was born and asked us then! She was like two hours old! Good grief!!

  6. First off…thanks for visiting my blog. Love having new visitors! :)

    Second…I have one child also. We adopted him when he was 4 months old and had planned on adopting more. But due to life and money we just haven’t yet. I love him so much I don’t know we could love another child along with him. Now…Sam (my son) wants us to get him a brother! He is begging us for one. He is the one that wants that sibling. So now my heart is starting to bend.

    We’ll see.

    But I do agree with you!

  7. Yeah, Eli just got a book from Dolly about KITTY CATS of all things. The horror. Dog books only please :).

  8. So are you going to give into peer pressure & have another one!??? LOL

    I just tried to sign up for that book club, but there isn't one for my area… boo hoo!

  9. Or maybe…Dolly didn’t know you only have one child… :) Maybe she was trying to help out with sibling relationships? Odd, though, that she would assume a multiple-child situation. Does anyone know what percentage of families have only one child?

    And The Little Engine That Could was *definitely* a girl. Rosy cheeks, long eyelashes. :)

  10. Just a note to those of you who can’t imagine loving a second child as much as your first: I, too, felt the same way. I was terrified of that very thing when I was pregnant with my second (a surprise pregnancy). However, my fears were immediately put to rest the moment I held the second baby in my arms. With your first, you think your heart can’t hold any more love for another child, and that’s true, but what you discover instead is that your heart grows with every child you have. Now, I can’t imagine not having babies 2 and 3 and missing out on the love and joy they bring to our family in addition to what we have from baby 1.

    But that’s not to put any pressure on any of you. The decision is ultimately God’s anyway, and He knows what’s best for each of us.

  11. I’ve known about Dolly Parton’s book program and think it’s great. Unfortunately we’re not in a community that does it. Maybe when we move back down there we will be.
    My opinion on second children – My second was a surprise so it wasn’t much of a choice. I believe that it is much harder to go from no child to a child than it is going from 1 to 2. I have this theory of 2 to 3 also but we’re not going to try it out. I felt the adjustment was much bigger when I had my first. The second one just kind of fell into place.

  12. Guess it’s a good thing there’s no Dolly Parton sponsor in my area… Though I was bummed about it at first! :)

  13. Nathaniel also got the set of sibling books in sucession. Does this mean the pressure might be off for me?
    If you like, I have a double of Officer Buckle and Gloria, which is a rivetting tale of FRIENDSHIP and SAFETY — much more the style for a very cautious only. :)
    You may also want to consider not letting Ali have the last book at the ripe age of “almost 5”. Benjamin just got his final book from Dolly: Look Out Kindergarten, Here I Come! The social norms Dolly presents here may be contrary to your plans to home school. Julie

  14. I found my copy of "The Little Engine that Could". For the record; "The Little Engine that Could" published by Platt & Munk with the earliest copyright date of 1930 is the book I read to you and your brothers. The little engine that "could" get over the hill with the toys for the children was female. When I researched the it, the earlier books (1910) were gender neutral (it). Mom

  15. Funny! Although I personally might not find it that amusing myself…
    I’m just waiting for your call…heehee!

  16. That’s funny! I got the same books and had some of the same thoughts. I didn’t bother opening the brother book until Ella found it last week. After having girls I was appalled at how boys behave! (:
    April S.

  17. Dolly is actually not a grandparent, because she doesn't have kids.

    How do I know?

    She is my personal hero.

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